Jordan-Cyprus relationship helps address challenges — ambassador

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The Republic of Cyprus’ Ambassador to Jordan Michalis Ioannou is pictured in this October18, 2020 photo. The ambassador has recently spoke to Jordan News about the relationship the two countries’ share. (Photo: Handout from the Republic of Cyprus’ Embassy in Amman)
AMMAN — The Republic of Cyprus’ ambassador to Jordan recently sat down with Jordan News to discuss the two countries’ relationship, areas of cooperation, and how Jordanian hospitality helped him and his family adjust to being in the country.اضافة اعلان

Frequent communication and exchange of visits between the leaders of the two countries, as well as their foreign ministers, represents the good relations Jordan and Cyprus share, Michalis Ioannou, the ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, recently told Jordan News.

The political relationship that connects Cyprus with Jordan is “genuine”, and will eventually lead to the enhancement of cooperation in all areas and help address the common challenges both countries face, Ioannou told the Jordan News In a recent interview.

“In this context, President Nicos Anastasiades extended an invitation to His Majesty King Abdullah to visit Cyprus and we hope that the visit will take place during 2021,” he added.

The ambassador also pointed to the importance of both countries’ leadership, saying the two leaders’ relationship has positive effects in the fields of real estate, investments, and higher education, but mainly on tourism, which is considered one of the two countries’ main areas of cooperation.

“This interaction between the people of our two countries is extremely important and encourages the political leadership of Cyprus and Jordan to pursue deeper cooperation and achieve tangible results,” he said.

On the other hand, the “excellent” level of relations between Cyprus and Jordan is also reflected in trilateral cooperation, which together with Greece addresses the common challenges and problems that the three countries face, he added.

On tourism

The Kingdom’s good epidemiological situation also allowed it to be included in Cyprus’ green category and allows people to travel to the island without having to  take a PCR test, or abide by restrictions on movement, said the ambassador.

“Cyprus is a favorite touristic destination for Jordanians, where many have bought houses.

In the last couple of months, along with the Ministry of Tourism of Jordan we examined tools and practices to enhance the cooperation between Cyprus and Jordan, and in this context, the Cypriot Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios will visit the Kingdom this summer,” Ioannou said.

The high volume of tourism helps bring the people of both nations closer, which can be a useful tool in guiding political leadership to seek cooperation in other fields of common interest, he added. 

Ioannou explained that over the last couple of years, the number of Jordanians visiting Cyprus has doubled.

“In 2019, Cyprus welcomed 18,000 visitors from Jordan, in comparison to 8,500 visitors in 2017. Unfortunately, in 2020 the pandemic put a temporary pause on this trend,” he said.

“As for the main places of interest for the Cypriots who visit Jordan, I would name the Baptism site and Petra. Wadi Rum is also getting all the more popular for Cypriots.”   

“I am sure that if you visit the picturesque harbor of Paphos these days, you will see many Jordanians that you know strolling around, as if you are in Aqaba.

I would say that enjoying the beaches of the island are at the top of the Jordanians’ list for their holidays in Cyprus.”

On education

The ambassador said that the number of people interested in studying at Cypriot universities has increased over the years due to the quality, the environment, the cultural intimacy and the geographical proximity of the two countries, the ambassador said.

“Many Jordanians (have) discovered the distinguished higher education Cyprus offers, mainly the schools of medicine. … followed by the business administration schools,” Ioannou said.

A personal note

“I arrived in Jordan with my family a year ago, on August 25, 2020 to be exact. We realized very soon the commonalities between Cypriots and Jordanians, and most importantly, the love that Jordanians have for Cyprus,” the ambassador said.

“Either they had a holiday home on the island, or their children were studying at the Cypriot universities, or they just use to visit Cyprus frequently for tourism, simply because they liked it,” Ioannou said.

“The warmth with which the Jordanian society embraced us, their love and hospitality made us easily adapt to your country and to feel like home.”

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